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PCB receives apology for betting streaming controversy

Multan Sultans Rohail Nazir is clean bowled during the Pakistan Super League T20 cricket match between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on March 15, 2020. (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)

India-based agency ITW has apologised to the Pakistan Cricket Board for a mix-up that saw Pakistan Super League cricket matches streamed on UK betting website Bet365 against the board’s wishes.

The PCB said the streaming deal had been agreed without its knowledge. It was an embarrassment for the board because betting is illegal in Pakistan, and it faced criticism in the country because of it.

ITW is distributing the streaming rights for the PSL outside Pakistan under a three-year deal with the PCB, from 2019 to 2021.

According to the Times of India, the PCB discovered the deal had been done shortly after this year’s PSL began, on February 20. It wrote to ITW and Bet365 requesting that the streaming of the matches be stopped, and Bet365 complied in early March.

Former Pakistan test cricket batsman, coach and chief selector, Mohsin Khan was one of the critics of the PCB. He said: “I can understand the best were taken only in countries where betting is legal but…even that is not good for the PSL, which is a Pakistani brand where betting is illegal.”

The 2020 PSL was suspended with three matches to go due to the coronavirus pandemic.